Scraping vs other activities

Scraping should not be considered a bad activity. If information is published online and is accessed in reasonable way (indistinguishable from normal user behavior) then there should be no questions to collection and using such data. Scraping is about collecting data that are not accessible in other ways. You should know the difference between scraping and other web automation activities.

According to Open Web Application Security Project following classification is established:

  • Account Aggregation Use by an intermediary application that collects together multiple accounts and interacts on their behalf
  • Account Creation Create multiple accounts for subsequent misuse
  • Ad Fraud False clicks and fraudulent display of web-placed advertisements
  • CAPTCHA Bypass Solve anti-automation tests
  • Carding Multiple payment authorisation attempts used to verify the validity of bulk stolen payment card data
  • Card Cracking Identify missing start/expiry dates and security codes for stolen payment card data by trying different values
  • Cashing Out Buy goods or obtain cash utilising validated stolen payment card or other user account data
  • Credential Cracking Identify valid login credentials by trying different values for usernames and/or passwords
  • Credential Stuffing Mass log in attempts used to verify the validity of stolen username/password pairs
  • Denial of Service Target resources of the application and database servers, or individual user accounts, to achieve denial of service (DoS)
  • Expediting Perform actions to hasten progress of usually slow, tedious or time-consuming actions
  • Fingerprinting Elicit information about the supporting software and framework types and versions
  • Footprinting Probe and explore application to identify its constituents and properties
  • Scalping Obtain limited-availability and/or preferred goods/services by unfair methods
  • Scraping Collect application content and/or other data for use elsewhere
  • Skewing Repeated link clicks, page requests or form submissions intended to alter some metric
  • Sniping Last minute bid or offer for goods or services
  • Spamming Malicious or questionable information addition that appears in public or private content, databases or user messages
  • Token Cracking Mass enumeration of coupon numbers, voucher codes, discount tokens, etc
  • Vulnerability Scanning Crawl and fuzz application to identify weaknesses and possible vulnerabilities

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